Retired March 1, 1972.
Major General John William Kline is the vice commander of Second Air Force with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
General Kline was born in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1919. He graduated from Lash High School in Zanesville in 1937. Later he attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio as a premedical student. He entered military service as an aviation cadet in 1940 and received his pilot wings and commission in 1941.
His first assignment was to Randolph Field, Texas. Subsequent assignments were to Kelly Field, Texas, and Blackland Army Air Field, Waco, Texas, as a flying instructor. In March 1944 he was named to command a flying training group at South Plains Army Air Field, Lubbock, Texas.
In October 1945 he reported to the Persian Gulf Service Command, with subsequent assignment to U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters in March 1946 where he served as chief of flight facilities and chief of the Flying Safety Division. Upon his return to the United States in October 1948, he attended the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
His first assignment to Strategic Air Command came in December 1949. He assisted in organizing the control division at SAC Headquarters and was named chief of the division in late 1951. Three years later he was reassigned to Pinecastle Air Force Base, Fla., as director of operations for the newly activated 321st Bombardment Wing.
General Kline attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in August 1956 - June 1957. He was then assigned to Eighth Air Force headquarters, Westover Air Force Base, Mass., as deputy director of operations. Four years later, he assumed command of the 2d Bombardment Wing at Hunter Air Force Base, Ga. In July 1968 he went to Dow Air Force Base, Maine, where he assumed command of the 397th Bombardment Wing. He returned to Westover as Eighth Air Force director of operations in May 1964. He was appointed chief of staff, Eighth Air Force in September 1965.
He became vice commander of the 3rd Air Division at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in July 1966. After returning to the United States in August 1968 he was again assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command where he served as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations. He assumed his present position as vice commander of Second Air Force in April 1969.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal.